Consistent play earns men’s golf second-place team finish in Florida

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William Heidenreich

 Junior golfer Rob Wuethrich (above), has consistently contributed to the winning tradition of the IWU golf team, his performances last season earning him Second-Team All-American Honors. Photo credit: IWU Sports

While some travel to warmer climates for pleasure, the men’s golf team went to the sunshine and sunny beaches of Florida with one thing on their mind: An outstanding team performance in the NCAA Division III Preview, held in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. 

A nationally renowned tournament, the Division III Preview was center-stage for several nationally ranked Division III teams, including the No. 1 ranked Titans, along with No. 2 Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.), and No. 3 Huntington College (Montgomery, Ala.). 

Despite there being no lack of intimidating competition, the Titans entered the tournament eager to prove they belonged at the top of the heap. 

“Regularly competing against nationally ranked teams is nothing new for us,” senior golfer Skylar LeVine said, “Our focus was on playing consistent golf over our three rounds, not worrying about the level of competition we were facing.” 

Playing consistently was no problem for the Titans over the course of the tournament, the team ending the first day of competition with a sensational number of performances from their five-man roster, securing them a spot at the top of the leaderboards after the first two rounds. 

In these rounds, IWU recorded a team score of 296 and 291, for a total of 587, second-place Emory University trailing by only two strokes with 589. 

Sophomore Jimmy Morton, carding scores of 69 (three-under par) and 74 (two-over par), lead the tournament individually after the first 36 holes, for a total of 143. 

One stroke behind Morton was junior Rob Wuethrich, who shot 72 in both his rounds, totaling 144 and earning him second overall on the leaderboards. 

“Shooting two consistent team rounds gave us a lot of momentum going into day two because we weren’t struggling to secure our spot on the leaderboards with only one round to play,” LeVine said. 

As a team, the Titans shot 294 during their last round of play, for a three-round total of 881, taking second overall and falling seven strokes short to Emory University, who ended with a total of 874. 

 “Regularly competing against nationally ranked teams in nothing new for us.” -Skylar LeVine

In round three, Morton and Wuethrich rose to the occasion, both carding rounds of 74 (two-over), for three-round totals of 217 and 218, earning them fifth and sixth place finishes. 

“We are proud of what we did, but remain optimistic towards the future,” senior golfer Daniel Cole said, “Sure, we didn’t finish how we wanted to, but as a team, we are happy with the fact that we played as consistently as we did.” 

For their next competition, the men’s golf team will compete in the CCIW Preview, a home tournament hosted by Weirbring Golf Course (Normal, Il.) on Sept. 24.